It’s now illegal to be in the city park after dark without permission.
Kuna City Council members on Dec. 6 unanimously approved changes to a city ordinance that sets the hours of city parks. Hours of park operation are now dawn to dusk, instead of midnight.
“No person shall use, enter upon or occupy the premises of any Kuna City park between dusk and dawn,” the new ordinance states. Currently, the ordinance prohibits people in the park between midnight and 6 a.m., leaving open a big gap, particularly in the winter, of people using the park after dark.
Kuna’s police chief, Lt. Kody Aldrich, has said that activity in the city park after the sun goes down presents a public danger, in particular without the proper lighting in city parks.
The ordinance defines dusk as 30 minutes after sunset and dawn as 30 minutes before sunrise.
A violation of the ordinance is punishable by a $50 fine for the first offense and $100 for each additional offense.
Residents are still be able to apply for an “after-hours” permit to use city parks after dusk.
In conjunction with the park ordinance, City Council members also approved a new set of fees that benefits smaller groups of people.
Council members agreed to keep the rental fees of the bandshell or gazebo at the Col. Bernard Fisher Veterans Memorial Park at $100 for groups of 100 or more. But council members unanimously agreed to add a tiered system for smaller groups: $10 for up to 15 people and $25 for up to 35 people.
Similarly, refundable cleaning and damage deposits are tiered at $10 for up to 15 people, $25 for up to 35 people and $100 for over 100 people.
Council members also lowered fees to rent the senior center at $50 for the first hour and $10 for each additional hour. A cleaning and damage deposit is $150.
Another major part of the parks ordinance concerns dogs in the parks.
With a couple of exceptions, dogs are required to be on a leash no longer than 8 feet.
Dogs are prohibited within 25 feet of a playground.
Dogs are allowed off leash, as long as the dogs are under control, in Sego Prairie Park, Sadie Creek Park and on the south side of the Indian Creek Greenbelt walking path to the high water mark of the creek.
The ordinance also mandates that dog owners clean up their dog’s waste.
A few other highlights of the proposed ordinance:
• glass containers are prohibited.
• fishing will be prohibited in any area posted as a “No Fishing Zone,” as adopted by city resolution.